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New Samsung smart watch will be company's third stab at wrist accessory

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
Samsung recently tipped that it plans to enter the connected smart watch market, but the company has twice in the past also attempted and failed to pioneer with such a device.

Samsung SPH-WP10
The Samsung SPH-WP10 launched in 1999.


Earlier this week, a Samsung executive revealed the Korean company is working on an entry into the mobile computing arena. Nothing about the device has been disclosed, but the reveal comes on the heels of rumors that Apple is planning to offer its own so-called "iWatch," and as devices like the Pebble, MetaWatch and I'm Watch have been earning buzz.

But well before the smart watches of today, Samsung also attempted to pioneer the market on two occasions, as highlighted by Josh Lowensohn of CNet this week. The first attempt came in 1999 when Samsung introduced the SPH-WP10, which was essentially an entire cell phone worn on the wrist.

When the product was unveiled, Samsung expressed the believe that the phone market was "nearly saturated." Its strategy at the time was to create a product that would appeal to "specific generations of mobile telecommunications service users," in particular the youth market.

The SPH-WP10 came with an advertised 90-minutes of talk time with an integrated speaker and microphone. As was common with phones at the time, it had a protruding antenna, as well as a monochrome LCD screen.

Samsung S9110 Watch Phone
The Samsung S9110 Watch Phone launched in 2009, a decade after its predecessor.


Samsung's second attempt was in 2009, when the company launched the S9110 Watch Phone. It also was a full-featured phone that included the ability to make calls from your wrist.

More in line with modern smartphones and not unlike Apple's previous-generation clip-on iPod nano, the Samsung S9110 featured a 1.76-inch color LCD display and was 11.98 millimeters thin.

While Samsung's first two wrist watch attempts sought to be devices that would do it all, more recent smart watch efforts like the Pebble and MetaWatch have instead opted to be smartphone accessories. The newer watches rely on a Bluetooth connection to a separate handset for data and connectivity, providing information such as weather updates, GPS data, and notifications of phone calls or text messages.
post #2 of 43
Nobody can be successful UNLESS Apple does it
post #3 of 43
Sammy's researchers are based in a restaurant curiously outside Apple HQ.
post #4 of 43
Quote:

Samsung SPH-WP10
The Samsung SPH-WP10 launched in 1999.

 

Wow high tech in its day.  The antenna wont fit past the cuff of the sleeve.  Most the so called high tech watches are too thick for professional use.  There is no practical use for a device in the professional corporate world.

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post #5 of 43
Those are butt ugly. They are also too big. If it has to be thicker and heavier than an average watch, forget it.
post #6 of 43

 

 

Why didn't this become successful ?

They should have cleaned up.

 

(do I really have to put the sarcasm tag on this?!)

post #7 of 43

Samsung copies everything Apple does, even the rumors.

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post #8 of 43

Of course when Samsung release their next phone, even if it arrives before Apple release their own device (if they ever do), Samsung will be accused of copying Apple, or the idea (even though these two devices show that Samsung have had the idea of a smart watch before).

 

Of course you have to wait until the technology is ready to do it in an acceptable way, which it clearly wasn't for that first Samsung device! But hey, 1999. Apple wouldn't have released something that clearly wasn't suitable for release - even if it wasn't perfect (e.g., Apple TVs weren't perfect but they were fine for their market).

post #9 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

 

 

Why didn't this become successful ?

They should have cleaned up.

 

(do I really have to put the sarcasm tag on this?!)

 

I think in 1999, this would have been very revolutionary.  It's less than half the size of the average cell phone of the time and goes on your wrist like a Dick Tracy watch.  

 

Without looking it up, my guess (re: it's failure) would be either that it never came to market, or that it did, but cost thousands of dollars.  

post #10 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilbo63 View Post

Those are butt ugly. They are also too big. If it has to be thicker and heavier than an average watch, forget it.

 

Don't forget that these watches were independent phones. They did not require a standalone phone to be paired to like the pebble. If you consider this, they are incredibly thin for 4 years old. And I think the design is not half bad. Take out the phone part and add bluetooth; it gets much thinner and a smaller bezel with 4 years of screen advancement and I think it could look great. Not that I'd buy it.

post #11 of 43

One thing is for sure; if/when Apple comes out with their wristwatch, Samsung won't be manufacturing it! :)

 

I guess two things...Apple's will be elegant and not clunky! :)

post #12 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

 

 

Why didn't this become successful ?

They should have cleaned up.

 

(do I really have to put the sarcasm tag on this?!)

 

 

Boy I bet that would have given Dick Tracy wood -- BTW is that an antenna or a vibrator?

post #13 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

 

 

Why didn't this become successful ?

They should have cleaned up.

 

(do I really have to put the sarcasm tag on this?!)

Oh they probably cleaned up alright - After seeing this, Samsung probably cleaned the whole lab, the marketing folks, in fact everyone involved.

 

If you look at this picture long enough (after you stop laughing) its just a small regular phone on its side, with a strap attached.

post #14 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

One thing is for sure; if/when Apple comes out with their wristwatch, Samsung won't be manufacturing it! :)

 

I guess two things...Apple's will be elegant and not clunky! :)

 

At the time of the S9110 Samsung watch phone release, it was the thinnest touchscreen phone in the world (including the iPhone). 

post #15 of 43
This is unfortunate to Apple. Samsung is completely ready to copy the features of Apple iWatch in a short time.
Edited by tzeshan - 3/21/13 at 8:34am
post #16 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilbo63 View Post

Those are butt ugly. They are also too big. If it has to be thicker and heavier than an average watch, forget it.

I actually love them. All of them! I'm not saying that I would buy or wear any of them, but all have a certain juno say paw.

In comparison to the much lauded Pebble I like Samsung's offering from 4 years ago more. The better display, the smoother face, the leather band, the higher-quality design, and the host girl smiling at me are all more appealing. I have no idea of its specs, usability or price (and don't care to know) but based on looks along I prefer it.

It all gives me hope that Apple can come up with something better since I'm looking at older tech that isn't as butt-ugly as the Pebble watch. Add in there Apple being able to offload more tasks into the iPhone (which Samsung's options wouldn't have been able to do well) as well as not ruling out Apple potentially making a more efficient wireless protocol for their specific data stream (there Nike+ dongles use a homegrown version of 802.11's protocol) and you could have the first smart watch that people want to buy.

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

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post #17 of 43

Really?

Comparing a cell phone watch from 1999 to today? Little bit of a stretch don’t you think? 

 

By the way want to see the GREAT things Apple was doing in 1999...

"Hockey puck" mouse and we all know how much of a success that was.

 

Apple_iMac_USB_mouse.jpg

post #18 of 43
Originally Posted by malta View Post
Really?

Comparing a cell phone watch from 1999 to today? Little bit of a stretch don’t you think? 

 

Not when the purpose was to illustrate just how long they've been in the business of watches. Pay attention.


By the way want to see the GREAT things Apple was doing in 1999… "Hockey puck" mouse and we all know how much of a success that was.

 

Fast forward to now; they've created the best mouse and trackpad on the market. See? Perspective.

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post #19 of 43

You can still buy the S9110 online right now.

 

http://www.electronicsforce.com/samsung-s9110-unlocked-watch-no-contract-cell-phone-p-56886.html#googlebase

 

http://www.cell2get.com/samsung-s9110-unlocked-watch-cell-phone-p-1900.html#googlebase

 

AI is also missing the second generation Samsung Watch Phone

 

 

 

 

This next one is the third generation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that there is enough proof that Samsung has had (and marketed) a watch phone before Apple did, can we stop the accusations now?

 

 

Samsung was ahead of its time when there were introducing these products. They had the same fate as Apple's Newton.

 

 

Engadget's write up about the S9110

 

http://www.engadget.com/2009/07/22/samsungs-s9110-touchscreen-watchphone-syncs-with-outlook-on-sa/


Edited by Galbi - 3/21/13 at 8:55am

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post #20 of 43
Should be much better this time now they have someone to copy from
post #21 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazy_mac_lover View Post

Nobody can be successful UNLESS Apple does it

 

ever heard of Palm or Blackberry?

post #22 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hattig View Post

Of course when Samsung release their next phone, even if it arrives before Apple release their own device (if they ever do), Samsung will be accused of copying Apple, or the idea (even though these two devices show that Samsung have had the idea of a smart watch before).

 

Of course you have to wait until the technology is ready to do it in an acceptable way, which it clearly wasn't for that first Samsung device! But hey, 1999. Apple wouldn't have released something that clearly wasn't suitable for release - even if it wasn't perfect (e.g., Apple TVs weren't perfect but they were fine for their market).

 

ever heard of Newton?

post #23 of 43
Koreans are great at producing but not designing.
post #24 of 43
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

Now that there is enough proof that Samsung has had (and marketed) a watch phone before Apple did, can we stop the accusations now?

 

Uh… what? "Because Samsung made a watch in the past, they cannot possibly ever be copying any future endeavor of Apple's in this field," is that your statement? 

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post #25 of 43
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Originally Posted by tooltalk View Post

 

ever heard of Palm or Blackberry?


To be fair most of the lower level good guys at Palm were from Apple originally with a few Symbion guys thrown in.  The RIM guys were brilliant engineers until the management got there hand on them

post #26 of 43
I very much doubt that Samsung will bring a watch out before Apple. They will wait to copy Apple, probably adding 'extra gizmos' that will impress 'FeatureHeads' but ruin the user experience.
post #27 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

Now that there is enough proof that Samsung has had (and marketed) a watch phone before Apple did, can we stop the accusations now?

You mean besides the article with the title noting a smart watch by Samsung, that it's their 3rd generation device, and a very large and clear image of a phone watch by Samsung from 1999? You no read so good!

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

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post #28 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

 

 

Is that Ralphie from Christmas Story?

 

Not sure I would wear a watch like this, though I don't really wear watches anyway. I feel like they would have to be pretty durable if out in the open like this. I am curious to see where this goes though, because it isn't half bad looking.

post #29 of 43
What boggles my mind about Samsung but probably speaks to their complete lack of comprehension in this area is they make an attractive an expensive watch, put it in a fancy box, but then still call the thing the GT-S9110. That's a complete fail for marketing. No matter how great of a product it is there is absolutely nothing iconic or rememberable about that branding.


"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

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post #30 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hattig View Post

Of course when Samsung release their next phone, even if it arrives before Apple release their own device (if they ever do), Samsung will be accused of copying Apple, or the idea (even though these two devices show that Samsung have had the idea of a smart watch before).

 

Of course you have to wait until the technology is ready to do it in an acceptable way, which it clearly wasn't for that first Samsung device! But hey, 1999. Apple wouldn't have released something that clearly wasn't suitable for release - even if it wasn't perfect (e.g., Apple TVs weren't perfect but they were fine for their market).

Apple is rarely first to market with anything. They target a space that needs to be reinvented and then goes and does that. Apple has done this time and time again. IF Apple does a smart watch (and I'm not convinced that they will or even should) it will be the most well thought-out and refined smart watch available. Afterwards the companies that had been floundering, throwing everything against the wall hoping it would stick, have something to copy... and they will.

post #31 of 43
Well, whatever Samsung is planning, I hope it has Gangnam Style!

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post #32 of 43
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post
Well, whatever Samsung is planning, I hope it has Gangnam Style!

 

If Samsung makes a music video, it will be 1:1 this, replacing the word 'Apple' with 'Samsung'.

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post #33 of 43

Samsung has the original press release for the SPH-WP10 online: http://www.samsung.com/us/news/newsRead.do?news_seq=386

 

And from a C-NET article: "Samsung's 1999 SPH-WP10 mixed a smartphone and a watch in one. It weighed 50 grams with its battery, and could last for 90 minutes of talk time and 60 hours on standby. It also cost close to $700."  Original A brief history of smartwatches here: http://news.cnet.com/2300-1035_3-10016196-2.html

 

Best,

Tim


Edited by tjs - 3/21/13 at 10:22am
post #34 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by tooltalk View Post

ever heard of Palm or Blackberry?

Palm doesn't exist anymore and Blackberry is struggling.
post #35 of 43
I am using Samsung galaxy s2 from quite a long time, but i am looking forward to watch solely made by Apple.
post #36 of 43

Yeah like I'm going to want to strap a big hunk of metal and glass to my wrist and wear it around everywhere.  

 

Fail.  

post #37 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilbo63 View Post

Apple is rarely first to market with anything. They target a space that needs to be reinvented and then goes and does that. Apple has done this time and time again. IF Apple does a smart watch (and I'm not convinced that they will or even should) it will be the most well thought-out and refined smart watch available. Afterwards the companies that had been floundering, throwing everything against the wall hoping it would stick, have something to copy... and they will.

 

Yes Apple often refines a product idea to something practical and useful.

But in this case the others who have been there (Samsung, etc) will have grounds to sue Apple for a big share of their profits.

I'm not that interested in such a watch at this time, my next toy watch will be a golfing GPS watch. Distance to the pin is all I can concentrate on when golfing.

 

Thank goodness Apple has been gradually evolving their Apple/TV device. I read it has quietly become a $500 million business, with no lawsuits against it- yet!

post #38 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshA View Post

Thank goodness Apple has been gradually evolving their Apple/TV device. I read it has quietly become a $500 million business, with no lawsuits against it- yet!

I would say it's larger than that. According to Wikipedia the 3rd gen Apple TV went on sale in March 2012 and Tim Cook announced in May 2012 that 2.7 million have been sold. That's $270 million for 3 months right there and all signs pointing to an increase in sales. They had also announced they had sold 1.4 million for the 2011 holiday quarter with the 2nd gen Apple TV. I would say it least neared $1 billion in sales in 2012 and will far exceed it in 2013 with or without any major revamping of the HW, OS, UI or services, which I think are inevitable.

But your point is great. They have a highly successful business that has just creeped up slowly to be bigger than the entire business of many of their competitors in other areas.

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post #39 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by NexusPhan View Post

 

Don't forget that these watches were independent phones. They did not require a standalone phone to be paired to like the pebble. If you consider this, they are incredibly thin for 4 years old. And I think the design is not half bad. Take out the phone part and add bluetooth; it gets much thinner and a smaller bezel with 4 years of screen advancement and I think it could look great. Not that I'd buy it.

 

I'm not convinced an 'iWatch' shouldn't have some 'independence' from a phone - though for now the phone seems a logical core-device for other peripherals.

 

Apple's revolution of the smart phone made sense. We carry these phones with us everywhere, they were a nice portable size both for making calls and using a screen. But then the advantages of bigger screens start to be pushed, and facetime video calls, and people mentioned losing their phones in their bags.

 

A phone device might not be the perfect fit anymore, in fact the iPhone might be a necessary transition device to the next generation.

An iPad-mini paired with an iPhone-nano (iPod Nano size?) is an example of a different, simple combination.

 

Put another way, imagine an iPhone as a core device with 4 key peripherals

a) a watch (specialising in small screen, instant access)

b) an iPad+ (specialising in big screen, but very low memory because it uses the iPhone)

c) a bluetooth headset or mini phone handset (call someone with clear audio while using an iPhone/iPad screen for Facetime or to look up something while talking)

d) AppleTV+ (AppleTV only works as an extension to the iPhone, not on its own)

 

My point is that there is value in a larger portable screen, a TV size fixed screen, a quick small screen, and a small audio 'handset', and I can imagine Apple extending the iPHone with these peripherals,

 

BUT if they made this little ecosystem would the iPhone be required at all? Do we need an iPhone really? Why not carry an iWatch by itself - imagine an iWatch with siri and a bluetooth headset - and optionally pair to my bigger devices when I have them - iPad, MBP or AppleTV.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilbo63 View Post

Apple is rarely first to market with anything. They target a space that needs to be reinvented and then goes and does that. Apple has done this time and time again. IF Apple does a smart watch (and I'm not convinced that they will or even should) it will be the most well thought-out and refined smart watch available. Afterwards the companies that had been floundering, throwing everything against the wall hoping it would stick, have something to copy... and they will.

 

Agreed. Most companies decide on a new product and then make it as best they can. Apple tends to be willing to prototype something and throw away a lot of work if it's not right, to the extent of not touching the market at all. The effect is mostly good products, and the side effect is that Apple users know if Apple releases something that chances are they'll find it effective.

post #40 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


You mean besides the article with the title noting a smart watch by Samsung, that it's their 3rd generation device, and a very large and clear image of a phone watch by Samsung from 1999? You no read so good!

 

Even after all the proofs about the watch phone concept, we have people still talking like this:

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by mudman2 View Post

Should be much better this time now they have someone to copy from

 

 

This is why I made that statement, SolipsismX.

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